Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Christmas House

There's been some buzz around here lately about the opening of a new museum. Apparently, a fan of the movie A Christmas Story has bought the house where the movie was filmed and is turning it into a museum.

My first reaction was somewhat skeptical. There's an added layer of ludicrosity (I think I just made that word up, by the way) to having a museum dedicated to a fake event. As I understand it, the original short story was actually set in rural Indiana. Because my facts were sketchy, I just read the wikipedia entry on A Christmas Story and discovered:
The house, on the west side of Cleveland Ohio, where the movie was filmed, was only used for exterior shots. The "fudge" flat tire was filmed down the street from the house. An entrepreneur later bought the house on eBay for $150,000.[6] He spent another $240,000 to renovate the house and back yard to look like the movie, and opened it to the public in November 25, 2006 as a museum, with original cast members attending the grand opening. The restored house contains some of the props from the movie, including Randy's snow suit and the leg lamp.
Firstly: damn, those wikipedia people are fast!

Secondly, let's recap: the house and surrounding streets were used for some exterior shots. That's it. But this guy has had contractors come in and completely gut the house to rebuild the interior so it matches the movie.

I like museums. Quite a bit. Especially oddball tributes to strange facets of life like the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities and Sir John Soane's Museum. At first, I tried to convince myself it would be neat because it would be like reliving the movie and it would be a look into 1930s-era culture.

But I think this may be too much for even me. A house is used for a few shots in a movie, which is based on a fictional short story. And now this prop has become a museum?!? The connection between the interior of this house and any actual events is just too tenuous for me to take it seriously as a museum

Of course, having said that, it doesn't mean I won't go. I love that movie!


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if we were going to go there. I admit , I'm curious. But it does seem to be cheating. Hard to get excited over something that never really happened there.

cat said...

Heh. My sister wants to go. Her hubby refuses to pay $5 each, and $3 for the kids, to see it. He reasons that nothing actually happened in the house, and really, they could have driven past it any time they wanted for free ... so why now? Plus, he's a tightwad.

And I only glanced at the picture at first and thought it was Keith guarding your castle.

Amy said...

I totally want to go to the museum! Let me know when you're going, so I can tag along.

Unlike some people who swear by National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story is truly the Best Christmas Movie Ever. It's getting quite a boost this year, with the museum opening and the hi-larious cell phone commerical that's based on the plot.

I already bought the Twentieth Anniversary Edition double-disc widescreen DVD, and I want a leg lamp next. Which you can buy at the gift shop across the street from the museum.

Anyhow, the short story's not completely fictional. Most of Jean Shepherd's stuff was based on his real life.

Plus, I was going to blog about this at some point.... Thanks for swiping my topic!! : )

M. Lubbers said...

Cat: That's what I'm talking about!

Amy: You should read the article about the guy who bought the house. He's the one who actually started making the lamps to sell.

Oh, and happy to steal your topic!:)

cat said...

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation will always be the ultimate Christmas movie. It's the BEST.

I am hoping to marry soon so that I can add the Wally World moose punch cups to my registry.